A Classic Tale of the Cowboy and the Collapsed House

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times… if you are thinking about digging under your house or having a basement conversion, make sure you use experts every step of the way. The risks are too great to skimp on your local builder to dig a hole under your home and hope for the best, there are a myriad of things which can go wrong.

Back in the news

We hate seeing these sad stories hit the news but it does give us excellent opportunity to highlight the importance of using people who are experienced and qualified to design and build you residential basement conversion.

Recently the Daily Mail reported on one such case in 2012 which still hasn’t been rectified. A couple wishing to expand their small home in North London were left with a house-sized crater and damage reparation bills of over  million pounds when a botched basement conversion resulted in the entire property collapsing in on itself leaving the family, and upstairs apartment inhabitants, homeless.

Misdirected Warning

The Daily Mail wrote: “In this era of endless home improvements, their story must serve as a timely warning to anyone considering an ‘iceberg’ conversion”. Not technically accurate. That is like warning people not to have surgery! Successful basements conversions require a team of specifically skilled experts to perform the design and build. Very much like surgery; however, to further the analogy – you probably wouldn’t want your dentist to perform your brain surgery.

What the article does detail is the repercussions of not using professional basement experts to perform basemen conversions and excavations.

Financial Consequences

The most popular areas for basement conversions are those where space is at a premium – cities; and no city more so than London. House values are very high in most parts of Central London and so if something goes wrong the financial implications of fixing the issue can be vast. The couple in question had a mortgaged home in Barnet which is now a hole in the ground, for which they are still paying a mortgage having not lived there for seven years.

Their total damages exceed £1 million and with building companies dissolving and insurance companies fighting the claims it’s been a long seven years for the couple who are stuck in a legal and financial battle which shows no sign of ending.

Final word

Repetition is key here. If you are thinking of having a basement excavated or a cellar converted, please make sure that you deal with specific basement companies. They will have the experience and expertise (and insurance policies) to make sure you have your dream home and not a giant hole in the ground!

You can read the full Daily Mail article here.

Get in Touch

We are here to help answer any questions you might have – don’t risk your most valuable asset for the sake of one phone call.

If you are thinking about undertaking a basement project, extending your property or having an underground garage installed make sure you give us a call. We are the leading specialists in basement conversions and design. You can call us on 01628 826066 or email us. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for all the latest updates.

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